Meeting of the Lord, Russian Orthodox icon,
15th century.Anonymous Unknown author • Public domain
Candlemas (also spelled Candlemass) is also known as the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord Jesus and also the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
It is a Christian Holy Day commemorating the presentation of Jesus at the Temple.
It is based upon the account of the presentation of Jesus in Luke 2:22–40. In accordance with Leviticus 12: a woman was to be presented for purification by sacrifice 33 days after a boy’s circumcision.
It falls on February 2, traditionally the 40th day of the Christmas–Epiphany season. While it is usual for Christians in some countries to remove their Christmas decorations on Twelfth Night (Epiphany Eve), those in other Christian countries historically remove them on Candlemas.
On Candlemas, many Christians (especially Anglicans, Methodists, Lutherans, Orthodox and Roman Catholics) bring their candles to their local church, where they are blessed and then used for the rest of the year; for Christians, these blessed candles serve as a symbol of Jesus Christ, who referred to himself as the Light of the World.
Candlemas is also St. Brigid’s Feast day which is celebrated especially in Scotland and Ireland.
Saint Brigid of Ireland in stained glass.
This image was found at catholic-forum.com which attributes it to St.Joseph Catholic Church in Macon, Georgia.The church was dedicated in 1903.from English Wikipedia
Saint Brigid of Kildare or Brigid of Ireland (Irish: Naomh Bríd; Latin: Brigida; c. 451 – 525) is one of Ireland’s patron saints, along with Patrick and Columba.
Irish hagiography makes her an early Irish Christian nun, abbess, and foundress of several monasteries of nuns, including that of Kildare in Ireland, which was famous and was revered.
Her feast day is 1 February, which was originally a pagan festival called Imbolc, marking the beginning of spring. Her feast day is shared by Dar Lugdach, who tradition says was her student, close companion, and the woman who succeeded her.
The Feast is of Pagan Origin being Imbolc or Imbolg, marking the beginning of Spring, falling on 1st or 2nd February. St. Brigid is thought to be a Christianisation of Brigid the goddess of fertility.
At Imbolc, Brigid’s crosses were made and a doll-like figure of Brigid, called a Brídeóg, would be paraded from house-to-house.
Brigid was said to visit one’s home at Imbolc. To receive her blessings, people would make a bed for Brigid and leave her food and drink, with items of clothing left outside for her to bless.
Brigid was also invoked to protect homes and livestock. Special feasts were had, holy wells were visited and it was also a time for divination. A celebration revived by modern Wiccans and Pagans.
Also called á Fhéile Bríde (Irish)
Là Fhèill Brìghde (Scottish Gaelic)
Laa’l Breeshey (Manx) Observed by Historically: Gaels
Today: Irish people, Scottish people, Manx people, Celtic neopagans and Wiccans Type Cultural,
Pagan (Celtic polytheism, Celtic neopaganism, Wicca) Significance beginning of spring Celebrations feasting, making Brigid’s crosses and Brídeógs, visiting holy wells, divination, spring cleaningDate1 and 2 February
(or 1 August for Neopagans in the S. Hemisphere)Related to Gŵyl Fair y Canhwyllau, Candlemas, Groundhog Day.